(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors have reached 50 wins faster than any team in National Basketball Association history although the players are far from complacent as they work toward their goal of repeating as league champions.
Golden State improved to 50-5 with a 102-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, eclipsing the mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls who needed one more game to get to the milestone en route to landing their fourth NBA title in six seasons.
But the Warriors, chasing the record 72-10 mark put up by the Michael Jordan-led Bulls in that same season, are more focused on perfecting their game to ensure they are the last team standing when the NBA championship is decided in June.
“We understand the potential we have but can’t get ahead of ourselves,” Stephen Curry said after scoring a game-high 36 points against the Hawks.
“Fifty wins is great but we’ve got to keep plugging away and stay hungry because nobody wants to talk about that in June.”
The Warriors appeared to be heading for a rout against the struggling Hawks before a 23-point advantage turned into a four-point deficit during a seven-minute span.
A dominant finish by Curry and solid defense from Andrew Bogut helped Golden State silence the Atlanta crowd and send a message to the league that their team can handle adversity.
“I liked our response,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “They were on fire in their home building.
“Everything was going against us and we maintained our poise and pulled away down the stretch. It was a really good win.”
While the Warriors have dominated all season they still have plenty of work to do to ensure they retain the top seed heading into the postseason since the San Antonio Spurs are only 3-1/2 games back in the Western Conference.
The Warriors will try to keep their momentum going over the final three games of a seven-game road trip before returning home where they have not lost all season.
“We’re on the right track. We’re not complacent and we’re trying to get better and find different ways to win games,” said Curry who is averaging an NBA-high 29.8 points this season.
“We’ve got great chemistry and we’re relying on that every single night. It’s a special group.”
Editing by Tony Jimenez